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All-Ireland SFC S-Final – Kerry v Meath

August 30, 2009 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Kerry defeated Meath by 2-8 to 1-7 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final at Croke Park on Sunday.

Kerry outclass Meath to seal final spot

From the web site

Sunday, August 30.

Kerry will meet their great Munster rivals Cork in the All Ireland final after a comfortable if unimpressive 2-8 to 1-7 semi-final defeat of Meath in Croke Park on Sunday. The Kingdom failed to reproduce the fireworks that saw them annihilate Dublin in the quarter-final, but in truth they did not have to against a Meath side that kicked just 1-2 from play all afternoon. Kerry were 1-3 to 0-4 ahead at half-time after Darran O’Sullivan had given them the lead from the penalty spot in the fourth minute. Tommy Walsh’s introduction before the break proved the match-winning move by Kerry boss Jack O’Connor as the 2008 Young Footballer of the Year scored 1-2 in a fine spell just after half-time. Walsh’s goal in the first minute of the second half appeared to deflate Eamonn O’Brien’s charges, and once Kerry realised that the big full-forward had the beating of Anthony Moyles, they persevered with the tactic to good effect.

Kerry led by 2-7 to 0-5 after 46 minutes and the game was over as a contest, although Cian Ward capped a fine individual display when he netted a consolation goal in junk time to save face for the Royals. Meath were not helped by the poor conditions, which worked against their tactic of playing long balls into the corners for their speedy full-forward line. Frequently, the Royals’ middle men misjudged the final ball and they kicked 11 wides in the first half alone. When Kerry rumbled their game plan, Meath did not have a plan B, their predictability proving their downfall in the end. Kerry appear to have the monopoly on making devastating starts. Having carved Dublin open inside a minute in the quarter-final, their rapid fire opening to this game has more than an element of good fortune to it.

Moyles, who had shrugged off a hamstring injury to take is place in the Meath full-back line, dropped a long ball on the edge of the square and it fell to Colm Cooper, who touched the ball past Moyles before he was dragged back by a flailing arm. The referee had little hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Darran O’Sullivan stepped up to face Paddy O’Rourke, but the Glenbeigh man slipped as he struck the shot. He was relieved to see the ball deflect off his trailing leg and dribble home past the wrong-footed goalkeeper. Things got worse for the Royals soon after when their captain and top scorer, Stephen Bray, was forced off the field with a dislocated collar bone. He was replaced by Michael Burke and Seamus Kenney moved back to wing-back, as Meath reverted to the line-up that started in the quarter-final win over Mayo.

Meath were struggling to cope with the slippery conditions in the opening minutes. Kerry were having no such problems and they moved further ahead when Joe Sheridan’s wild cross-field pass was intercepted by Paul Galvin, who fed Cooper for an easy point. They might have grabbed a second goal a minute later when Declan O’Sullivan’s goalbound shot struck Cooper’s foot and went out for a ’45. Meath eventually got off the mark after 15 minutes, having kicked a series of poor wides. Sheridan won possession from the kick drove into Kerry territory and offloaded to Brian Farrell, who kicked a point with typical ease. Tommy Walsh came on for his namesake, Donncha, after 28 minutes after Jack O’Connor assembled his charges at the break to spell out the change in tactic to draw the giant full-forward into the game. In the meantime, Meath managed a purple patch just before the break as Cian Ward struck a free followed by a glorious sideline kick to leave them just two points down at half-time.

However, Kerry were a different team in the first ten minutes of the second half. A fine goal inside a minute helped them shake off the rust that was prevalent in the first half. Tadhg Kennelly delivered a high ball into the edge of the square and Walsh beat Moyles before slipping it past the Meath goalkeeper. He added a point three minutes later to stamp his authority on the game. Kennelly added another and suddenly Kerry were seven points to the good. Joe Sheridan and Ward – from another glorious sideline kick – hit back for Meath, but Kerry had little difficulty containing their challenge over a scoreless next 17 minutes. In that time, the Kingdom could have netted another goal, but O’Rourke made a fine save after Cormac McGuinness had misjudged the flight of a ball that had drifted all the way in from a speculative sideline kick. Kennelly added another Kerry point in the 65th minute, before Brian Farrell added a point and Ward a fine goal in the dying minutes that proved nothing more than window dressing.

Kerry: D Murphy, M Ó Sé, T Griffin, T O’Sullivan, T Ó Sé, M McCarthy, K Young, D Ó Sé, S Scanlon, P Galvin, T Kennelly (0-2), D Walsh, C Cooper (0-3, 0-2f), Declan O’Sullivan, Darren O’Sullivan (1-1, 1-0 pen).

Subs: T Walsh (1-2) for D Walsh ’28, A O’Mahony for Young ’50, M Quirke for D Ó Sé ’60, P O’Connor for Cooper ’60, B Sheehan for Declan O’Sullivan ’66.

Meath: P O’Rourke, C O’Connor, A Moyles, E Harrington, S Kenny, C McGuinness, C King, N Crawford, B Meade, P Byrne, J Sheridan (0-1), S Bray, D Bray, B Farrell (0-2, 1f), C Ward (1-4, 0-2f, 0-2 sl).

Subs: M Burke for S Bray ‘6, J Queeney for Kenny ’45, N McKeigue for D Bray ’49, M Ward for Crawford ’53, K Reilly for King ’57.

Referee: G Ó Conámha (Galway)

Kerry give little away in cruising past Meath

From the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday August 31 2009

NEVER mind the journey — it’s all about the destination. Kerry head into September in familiar territory, having qualified for the All-Ireland final for the sixth successive year and for the eighth time this decade. The voyage hasn’t been without its troubles but they survived all the squalls and will sail into the final quite confident that they can mark the GAA’s 125th anniversary in the company of Sam Maguire. They will have to play a whole better than they did against Meath in yesterday’s semi-final but, as they proved against Dublin, they are well capable of turning up the power when the occasion demands.

They needed to do it early on against Dublin to convince themselves that the inertia which had clung to them up to then wasn’t a permanent condition and while they dropped back considerably yesterday, they were still far too good for Meath in a terribly disappointing game. The final score flattered Meath, who trailed by 2-8 to 0-6 heading into stoppage time before a pointed free by Brian Farrell and a consolation goal from Cian Ward ate into Kerry’s lead, even if there was never a possibility of it being completely wiped out. Indeed, from the moment Tommy Walsh scored Kerry’s second goal in the first minute of the second half, Meath were chasing a lost cause. Even then they didn’t do it particularly well, scoring just two points (one from a line ball) in 35 minutes before finally making some progress in stoppage time. Kerry didn’t have to do anything especially impressive to put daylight between themselves and their sloppy pursuers, who were in trouble in every line, starting with goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke, whose kicking put his side under pressure on several occasions.

It was an added problem in a long line for Meath, but it was far from the perfect display from Kerry either. The sides kicked 32 wides between them while they managed a total of 18 scores, which is unusually low for any game, let alone an All-Ireland semi-final played on a calm, damp afternoon. Pre-match rain left the pitch extremely slippy and, with some players obviously wearing the wrong boots for the conditions, there were several examples of players falling over as they tried to turn. Bouncing the ball was also a hazardous business as it tended to squirt away from the carrier. Still, the conditions can’t be blamed for all the poor kicking and most certainly not for the inaccurate passing which led to a remarkably high number of possession turnovers. Meath were especially culpable in this regard and since they were operating off a lower possession ratio than Kerry, they could ill-afford to be so careless.

Just as they had done against Dublin, Kerry struck early in the first half, albeit with considerable help from Meath in the form of a rash tackle by full-back Anthony Moyles on Colm Cooper in the third minute. The main danger appeared to have passed as the ball had squirted away but Moyles took Cooper’s legs, prompting referee Gearoid O Conamha to signal for a penalty. Darran O’Sullivan slipped as he made contact with the ball but his shot still beat O’Rourke, who also lost his footing, to set Kerry on their way. However, unlike the quarter-final, where Dublin melted under the early heat, Meath hung on in there and created enough chances to build up a decent score, but were betrayed by poor shooting. Farrell’s 15th-minute point was their only score of a first quarter, during which they shot seven wides. By half-time, their wides tally had reached 10 (to Kerry’s seven) but two late points from Ward had cut the deficit to two points, 1-3 to 0-4.

Farrell’s point was Meath’s only score from open play, a truly dismal return, but Kerry weren’t a whole lot better, as 1-1 of their total had come from placed balls. Meath had to begin repair work after just seven minutes when captain Stephen Bray was forced out with an injured collar bone, and Jack O’Connor began unloading his subs after 28 minutes when he sent Tommy Walsh in for Donncha Walsh. It was to prove hugely significant as Walsh went on to score 1-2. His goal came a minute into the second half when Tadhg Kennelly targeted him with an accurately delivered diagonal ball which Walsh fielded expertly before spinning away from Moyles and beating O’Rourke with a crisp drive. By the 46th minute, Kerry had opened up an eight-point advantage (2-7 to 0-5) and the contest was effectively over. The only remaining item on the agenda was whether or not Kerry would gallop on towards the sort of score they produced against Dublin, but Meath kept battling on, even if a recovery was never on the cards. Still, they restricted Kerry to one point in the closing 25 minutes but could make no impression at the other end until stoppage time.

By then, Kerry could afford to lose concentration as they had banked enough to withstand a few raids. If Walsh’s arrival led to a major improvement in the Kerry attack, they had several other plus factors too which underpinned their efforts to become the first team since Dublin in 1974-’79 to reach six successive All-Ireland finals. Kennelly and Paul Galvin were industrious all through the game; Seamus Scanlon did well at midfield, while Mike McCarthy locked the defence tightly from his centre-back look-out point. His return to the scene has greatly strengthened the Kerry defence, and Marc O Se and Tom O’Sullivan also did well in front of goalkeeper Diarmuid Murphy, who is enjoying a really good season. O’Connor was in the happy position of being able to withdraw Darragh O Se and Cooper on the hour mark, with Declan O’Sullivan following some minutes later.

Meath manager Eamonn O’Brien also emptied his bench, but it made no appreciable difference on a day when the Meath attack found the Kerry defence far more security-conscious than Mayo had been in the quarter-final. Cork manager Conor Counihan, who was among the 50,770 crowd, won’t have learned anything about Kerry that he didn’t already know. They won with the minimum of fuss yesterday and will be happy to have conceded so little but, at the same time, will not be satisfied with their final return, especially as they shot 16 wides, nine of which came in the second half. Ten scores is remarkably low in a 70-minute game, but then Cork won the Munster final after scoring just eight times against Limerick. Bookmaker reaction to yesterday’s game was to install Cork as marginal favourites to win the final, leaving Kerry in the most unusual position of being outsiders on the big day. It’s a rating they will relish. For while they were far from foot-perfect yesterday, they still did more than enough to grab control of a game that certainly won’t go down as one of the classic semi-finals. Meath had taken full advantage of the ‘back door’ to re-build their season and then gave their supporters real hope when they hit Mayo for 2-15 in the quarter-final but it was back to reality yesterday against a superior force who would probably have found another gear had the occasion demanded.

Scorers —

Kerry: T Walsh 1-2, Darran O’Sullivan 1-1 (1-0 pen), C Cooper 0-3 (2f), T Kennelly 0-2.

Meath: C Ward 1-4 (0-2f, 0-2 sidelines), B Farrell 0-2 (1f), J Sheridan 0-1.

Kerry: D Murphy 7; M O Se 7, T Griffin 6, T O’Sullivan 7; T O Se 7, M McCarthy 8, K Young 6; D O Se 6, S Scanlon 7; P Galvin 7, T Kennelly 8, D Walsh 5; C Cooper 6, Declan O’Sullivan 6, Darran O’Sullivan 6. Subs: T Walsh 8 for D Walsh (28), A O’Mahony 7 for Young (51), M Quirke 6 for D O Se (60), P O’Connor 6 for Cooper (60), B Sheehan for Declan O’Sullivan (66).

Meath: P O’Rourke 5; C O’Connor 6, A Moyles 5, E Harrington 7; S Kenny 5, C McGuinness 6, C King 5; N Crawford 5, B Meade 5; S Bray 5, J Sheridan 6, P Byrne 5; C Ward 7, D Bray 5, B Farrell 6. Subs: M Burke 6 for S Bray (7), J Queeney 6 for Kenny (45), N McKeigue 5 for D Bray (48), M Ward 5 for Crawford (54), K Reilly 5 for King (58).

Referee: G O Conamha (Galway)

Team News

Meath (SF v Kerry): P O’Rourke; C O’Connor, A Moyles, E Harrington; S Kenny, C McGuinness, C King; N Crawford, B Meade; P Byrne, J Sheridan, S Bray (capt); D Bray, B Farrell, C Ward

Kerry team V Meath in All Ireland Semi Final 09

(1) Diarmuid Murphy (Dingle)

(2) Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

(3) Tommy Griffin (Dingle)

(4) Tom O’Sullivan (Rathmore)

(5) Tomás Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

(6) Mike McCarthy (Kilcummin)

(7) Killian Young (Renard)

(8) Darragh Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)

(9) Seamus Scanlon (Currow)

(10) Paul Galvin (Finuge)

(11) Tadhg Kennelly (Listowel Emmett’s)

(12) Donnacha Walsh (Cromane)

(13) Colm Cooper (Dr. Crokes)

(14) Declan O’Sullivan (Piarsaigh Na Dromada)

(15) Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar) (Captain)


(16) Ger Reidy (Castleisland Desmonds)

(17) Aidan O’Mahony Aodán Ó Mathúna (Rathmore)

(18) Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahilly)

(19) Bryan Sheehan Brian Ó Siocháin (St. Mary’s)

(20) Micheál Quirke (Kerins O’Rahillys)

(21) Paul O’Connor (Kenmare)

(22) Padraig Reidy (Scartaglin)

(23) David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

(24) Seán O’Sullivan (Cromane)

(25) Anthony Maher (Duagh)

(26) Daniel Bohan (Austin Stacks)

(27) Aidan O’Shea (Glenbeigh/Glencar)

(28) Barry John Walsh Barra (Kerins O’Rahillys)

(29) Maurice Corridan (Finuge))

(30) Kieran Quirke (Duagh)

(31) Ronán Ó Flatharta (An Ghaeltacht)

(32) Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks)

Bainsteoir: Jack O’Connor (Piarsaigh Na Dromada)

Traenálaí: Alan O’Sullivan (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)

Roghnóirí: Ger O’Keeffe (Austin Stacks) Eamon Fitzmaurice (Finuge)


Kerry’s win over Dublin in the All-Ireland Quarter-Final means that they have remained unbeaten in the All-Ireland quarter-final since the new system was introduced in 2001.

Their record reads: Played 10, Won 9, Drew 1. The draw was against Dublin in 2001 while wins were as follows: Dublin (2001-04-09), Galway (2002-2008), Roscommon (2003), Mayo (2005), Armagh (2006), Monaghan (2007).

Match Preview

Cork are through to the GAA All-Ireland senior football final and, barring a draw, their opponents will be known next Sunday when Kerry and Meath meet in the second semi-final in Croke Park (3.30). Kerry are bidding to reach the final for the sixth successive year and for the 8th time this decade while Meath last reached the final in 2001 where they lost to Galway. If Kerry win, they will set up a repeat of the 2007 All-Ireland final against Cork while Meath last met Cork in the final in 1999. Meath won that game by three points but the Rebels are now back in the final after dethroning reigning champions, Tyrone in last Sunday’s semi-final. They won by 1-13 to 0-11 to book a place in the final for the second time in three seasons.

Paths to the semi-final


Kerry 0-13 Cork 1-10 (Munster semi-final) Cork 1-17 Kerry 0-12 (Replay) Kerry 1-12 Longford 0-11 (Qualifiers Round 2) Kerry 0-14 Sligo 1-10 (Qualifiers Round 3) Kerry 2-12 Antrim 1-10 (Qualifiers Round 4) Kerry 1-24 Dublin 1-7 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Played 6, Won 4, Drew 1, Lost 1.

Kerry scorers

Colm Cooper………………….1-25 (0-17 frees) Tommy Walsh………………..2-6 Declan O’Sullivan………….0-10 Paul Galvin……………………1-7 Bryan Sheehan……………….0-8 (6 frees) Sean O’Sullivan……………..0-6 (3 frees) Darren O’Sullivan………….0-5 Donncha Walsh………………0-5 Tadhg Kennelly………………0-4 Paul O’Connor………………0-4 (3 frees) Darragh O Se…………………0-3 David Moran…………………0-1(‘45’) Tomas O Se……………………0-1 Tom O’Sullivan…………….0-1 Seamus Scanlon…………….0-1


Dublin 0-14 Meath 0-12 (Leinster quarter-final) Meath 1-20 Waterford 0-8 (Qualifiers Round 1) Meath 1-15 Westmeath 1-5 (Qualifiers Round 2) Meath 2-12 Roscommon 0-11 (Qualifiers Round 3) Meath 1-13 Limerick 2-9 (Qualifiers Round 4) Meath 2-15 Mayo 1-15 (All-Ireland quarter-final) Played 6, Won 5, Lost 1.

Meath scorers

Cian Ward………………..2-22 (0-15 frees, 0-5 ‘45s,’1-0 pen) Joe Sheridan……………..1-12 David Bray………………..2-8 (0-2 frees) Brian Farrell……………..0-11 Peadar Byrne…………….1-8 Stephen Bray……………..0-7 Jamie Queeney…………..1-2 Cian O’Connor………….0-5 Shane McAnarney……..0-3 Caoimhin King………….0-2 Cormac McGuinness….0-2 Nigel Crawford…………..0-2 Mark Ward……………….0-1 Seamus Kenny……………0-1 Brian Meade………………0-1

Previous Kerry-Meath championship clashes

Somewhat surprisingly, Kerry and Meath have met only six times in the championship, three in All-Ireland semi-finals and three in finals. Kerry won four to Meath’s two.

2001: Meath 2-14 Kerry 0-5 (All-Ireland semi-final)

1986: Kerry 2-13 Meath 0-12 (All-Ireland semi-final)

1970: Kerry 2-19 Meath 0-18 (All-Ireland final)

1954: Meath 1-13 Kerry 1-7 (All-Ireland final)

1947: Kerry 1-11 Meath 0-5 (All-Ireland semi-final)

1939: Kerry 2-5 Meath 2-3 (All-Ireland final)

Last Championship Clash

Meath 2-14 Kerry 0-5 (2001 All-Ireland semi-final)
A truly remarkable scoreline as Meath overwhelmed the reigning All-Ireland champions. Meath led by 1-6 to 0-4 at half-time but the expected Kerry revival never came. A point by sub Declan Quill was Kerry’s only score in the second half while Meath added 1-8 to run out 15-point winners. It was Kerry’s biggest championship defeat since losing to Cork by 2-23 to 1-11 in the 1990 Munster final.

Meath: Cormac Sullivan; Mark O’Reilly, Darren Fay, Cormac Murphy; Donal Curtis, Hank Traynor (0-1), Nigel Nestor (0-1); Nigel Crawford; John McDermott (1-0); Evan Kelly (0-2), Trevor Giles (0-1), Richie Kealy (0-1); Ollie Murphy (0-4), Graham Geraghty (0-1), Ray Magee (0-3).

Subs: John Cullinane (1-0) for Magee, Paddy Reynolds for Curtis; Mick O’Dowd for Kelly, Jody Devine for Kealy.

Kerry: Declan O’Keeffe; Mossy Lyons, Seamus Moynihan, Michael McCarthy; Mike Hassett, Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Tom O’Sullivan; Darragh O Se, Donal Daly; Eoin Brosnan (0-1), Noel Kennelly Aodan MacGearailt; Mike Frank Russell (0-1), Dara O Cinneide (0-1), Johnny Crowley (0-1).

Subs: Tommy Griffin for Hassett, Maurice Fitzgerald for O’Sullivan, William Kirby for O Cinneide, John McGlynn for Daly, Declan Quill (0-1) for MacGearailt.

Last Ten semi-finals

Kerry have won seven, drawn one and lost two of their last ten semi-finals. Next Sunday’s game will be their 12th semi-final clash this decade, including two draws.

They have reached the semi-final every year this decade.

2008: Kerry 2-14 Cork 1-13 (Replay)

2008: Kerry 1-13 Cork 3-7 (Draw)

2007: Kerry 1-15 Dublin 0-16

2006: Kerry 0-16 Cork 0-10

2005: Kerry 1-19 Cork 0-9

2004: Kerry 1-17 Derry 1-11

2003: Tyrone 0-13 Kerry 0-6

2002: Kerry 3-19 Cork 2-7

2001: Meath 2-14 Kerry 0-5

2000: Kerry 2-15 Armagh 1-15 (After extra-time)

Played 10, Won 7, Drew 1, Lost 2


Meath have a good record in All-Ireland semi-finals, winning eight of their last ten since 1970. Meath’s only semi-final defeats in that period were against Cork in 2007 and Kerry in 1986.

2007: Cork 1-16 Meath 0-9

2001: MEATH 2-14 KERRY 0-5

1999: Meath 0-15 Armagh 2-5

1996: Meath 2-15 Tyrone 0-12

1991: Meath 0-15 Roscommon 1-11

1990: Meath 3-9 Donegal 1-7

1988: Meath 0-16 Mayo 2-5

1987: Meath 0-15 Derry 0-8

1986: KERRY 2-13 MEATH 0-12

1970: Meath 0-15 Galway 0-11


August 30, 2009
3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
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